Piggy Disliking Being Anywhere Near Me

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lawz

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hi there,

A month ago i rehomed a herd of 6 piggies (henrys a lucky boy) but one of the girls Beau seriously dislikes being touched, and the only way i can catch her is to let her go in her cozy fleece pouch and then scoop that up with her inside.
The first time i managed to catch her, but she screamed so much you would think i was killing her! (drama queen she is - should rename her), i can stroke her when shes inside just about once she realises I'm not going to hurt her, but she still squeeks albeit at a lower volume,
Ive been told by rescue today that Beau had a bad experience with owner before rescue- i asked what this was and about her history, and waiting for a reply. I wasnt made aware of this ebfore taking her, but chances are it wouldnt have made a difference, but do feel i should have been told.
So i guess my question is how do i go about socialising her? shall i continue to scoop her up in cozy and just rest her on my lap to get her used to me? I dont want her to start associating the cozy as bad and then that not being her safe place. Shes otherwise bright, eating and drinking fine.
I realise theyre all different, henry, henrietta and ruby all wheek when i go near their hutch and climb up at the mesh, and once i get them they happily settle for huggles, as does Roxy and BB....but Beau would rather be on her own and anywhere as long as not near me (I'm not taking it personally) her history has affected her and shes going to need time i guess, and probably just one of those who wont tolerate contact
 

Wiebke

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Some piggies frighten easily, have bad memories and will never come to really like being held and cuddled. You have to accept it. However, it is important that they learn to relax enough that they can be health checked and groomed. You can still enjoy interacting with them in other ways.

I would recommend to fill a small walk-in cardboard box with a fresh bit of soft hay (to prevent eye pokes) or grass for the pick-up and use that once your piggies are used to it and have good associations. Turn it into a ritual with lots of praise. Pick-up cuts closest to guinea pigs' prey animal intincts and is always the most difficult bit.

You may find these threads here helpful:
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/how-do-i-settle-shy-new-guinea-pigs.36239/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...stincts-and-speak-piggy-body-language.117031/
 

lawz

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Thank you.
ive heard from rescue that she was mistreated, underweight, no fur on arrival, sore skin, malnutrition and her cage was deep with wee and faeces, poor little girl.
Yes i dont think of her any less at all, and accept that this is how she will most likely be - justw anted to know if there was anything i could do to try and help ease her anxeities
 

Wiebke

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The information threads should help you with tips on how to minimise appearing as a scary predator and make friendly overtures in guinea pig body language. Winning her trust will take lots of time, but in my own experience, with patience and persistence most piggies can be eventually brought round. The change will be near imperceptive and very much a case of two steps forward, one back. But it will be worth it! There is nothing like the feeling when you realise that piggy like Henrietta has learned to trust you.
 

lawz

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this ones name is beau henrietta is another lil madam of the group
Beau takes lettuce/kale from hand....so thats a small step forward. Ive only had them 4 weeks so with only seeing me mornings, eves, and week ends process is a bit slower.
I'm patient when it comes to earning animals trust, as with horses ive worked with and dogs its so rewarding...and pushing their limits too much will own earn you backward stepsso i know to have her wheeking like the others when I'm near will be nice to hear :)
 

Lady Kelly

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Bless her the poor girl. I'm not really adding to the great advice already given but my Bea had had a bad experience and was 2 when I got her from rescue. It took a lot of patience and baby steps for her not to "dirty" protest (I mean she must have saved a whole days wee for 2 mins into lap time!) during cuddles but you know what... We got there in the end and she was such a loving pig once you built that trust. It's so very worth the perseverance
 

lawz

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Honestly...the stuff I'm finding out in general re rescue isnt good and i have a very poorly pig aswel! I'm just glad theyre with me and getting care and attention they need.
I dont know much so this is all a learning curve for me which I'm grateful for!
 

Wiebke

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Honestly...the stuff I'm finding out in general re rescue isnt good and i have a very poorly pig aswel! I'm just glad theyre with me and getting care and attention they need.
I dont know much so this is all a learning curve for me which I'm grateful for!
Anybody can call themselves "rescue" or "breeder" in this country unfortunately, and the results can be very dire indeed. This is the reason why we have a recommended good standard rescue locator on the top bar and are trying to build up a worldwide list of rescues that operate to a good and safe standard.

There is nothing like the wonderful feeling of bringing a traumatised piggy round to learn to trust and enjoy life, but it can be an uphill battle and take time, patience and persistence. No rescue worth their salt will match up a new and inexperienced owner with guinea pigs that need careful handling and lots of experience in doing so, though! All my difficult piggies I have adopted with my eyes wide open and the respective rescue trusting my experience.
 

lawz

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this is what i mean - i know i should have asked, but rescue have a duty of care to their piggies, and as a new owner i should have been made aware of her history - it wouldnt have changed my mind about her, but so I'm the loop and know what to be aware of would be nice. Ive only recently been told about her history and ive had her 4 weeks, and the poorly one was released to me with the rescue knowing she wasnt 100% well! far from pleased
 

ayemee

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Sorry to hear about your troubles with the 'rescue'. At least you know they have a good home with you now.

One of my girls hates being touched a lot and won't ever let you pick her up by hand. So I've been picking her up in her cosy, and occasionally lifting her out of that by hand to get her used to being handled a little, so we can check her over and pick her up for nail trimming. I think she will only ever just tolerate being handled and she will never enjoy it. As long as she's happy and healthy I guess that's all that matters :)

Time and dedication to building up trust should pay off in the long run.
 

lawz

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well she takes food out of hand...so thats progress, just like man...way to their heart is through their stomach!haha
 
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